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A 'No' from SBA May Open Doors to More Assistance

Release date: 
December 1, 2012
Release Number: 

WINDSOR, Conn. - Some survivors of Hurricane Sandy are discovering that getting turned down for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration may lead to other forms of assistance.

"In most cases, referral to these resources is automatic if SBA rejects your loan application," said Federal Coordinating Officer Albert Lewis of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "But applicants who don't return their applications to SBA close the door on these resources."

Many survivors receive a loan package from SBA after they register for assistance with FEMA. While SBA's low-interest disaster loans represent the major source of federal funding for recovery, the application itself may open the door to other grant programs. People who do not qualify for a loan may be eligible for grants from FEMA.

Federal grants cover necessary expenses and serious needs, including:

  • Disaster-related medical and dental expenses
  • Disaster-related funeral and burial expenses
  • Disaster-related car repair expenses
  • Clothing and household items, such as room furnishings and appliances
  • Tools required for work
  • Computers and schoolbooks required for education
  • Oil and gas for heating furnaces
  • Moving and storage expenses related to the disaster

The deadline to complete an SBA application for a low-interest disaster loan is Dec. 31.

The SBA offers online applications through its Electronic Loan Application site at Survivors can call the SBA's Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, or visit the SBA's website at

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-3362. For TTY, call 800-462-7585.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government's primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes, and private, nonprofit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and covers the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:10